The History of Leith

April 21, 2004

The Sugar House Company

In the old Tolbooth Wynd stood the Old Leith Sugar House Company. The circumstances that Leith was a central Port for carrying on West Indian trade Where vessels could be fitted out more easily than on the Clyde and at a lower rate then in London-beside the savings on freight and charges-encouraged the West Indian Planter to make it the place for his consignments. Thus a house house baling sugars was set up in Edinburgh in 1751 and the manufacture was still carried on in 1779 by the company which started it.

That of Leith was begun in 1757 by a company consisting chiefly of Edinburgh bankers, but by 1762 their capital was totally lost and for some time the Sugar House remained unoccupied till some speculative Englishmen took a lease of it and revived the manufacture.

As these men were altogether without Capital and had to fall back upon runious schemes to support their false credit they were soon involved in complete failure. But they were succeeded by messrs Parkers who kept the manufacture for five years.

“This House” says Arnot was then purchased by a set of merchants in Leith who as the begun with suffiicient Capital as they have have employed in the the work the best refiners in Sugar that could be obtained from London, promised success for the venture.

Be that as it may, in “The Advertiser” for 1785,”The whole houses and subjects belonging to and employed by the “Leith Sugar Company” together with the Copers, Coolers, and whole utensils used in the trade” are announced as for sale “together with those new subjects lying in Water Lane, adjoining Messrs Elder and Archibalds Vaults.

Netherless Sugar Refining continued in Leith as we find a Mr Macfie refining sugar in Elbe Street until it was destroyed by fire in about 1865. Then after this was created the extensive Bonnington Sugar Refining Company in Breadalbane Street Leith. Which this time lasted many years.

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